|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Weir of Hermiston by Robert Louis Stevenson:
gentle little mutinies, sad little gaieties, even a morning gleam of
beauty that was not to be fulfilled. She withered in the growing, and
(whether it was the sins of her sires or the sorrows of her mothers)
came to her maturity depressed, and, as it were, defaced; no blood of
life in her, no grasp or gaiety; pious, anxious, tender, tearful, and
It was a wonder to many that she had married - seeming so wholly of the
stuff that makes old maids. But chance cast her in the path of Adam
Weir, then the new Lord-Advocate, a recognised, risen man, the conqueror
of many obstacles, and thus late in the day beginning to think upon a
wife. He was one who looked rather to obedience than beauty, yet it
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Light of Western Stars by Zane Grey:
ever packed! You've been some faithful to Danny Mains. An'
Danny Mains pays! Never a saddle again or a strap or a halter or
a hobble so long as you live! So long as you live nothin' but
grass an' clover, an' cool water in shady places, an' dusty
swales to roll in an' rest an' sleep!"
Then he untied the pack and, taking a small, heavy sack from it,
he came back upon the porch. Deliberately he dumped the contents
of the sack at Stillwell's feet. Piece after piece of rock
thumped upon the floor. The pieces were sharp, ragged, evidently
broken from a ledge; the body of them was white in color, with
yellow veins and bars and streaks. Stillwell grasped up one rock
The Light of Western Stars
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Salome by Oscar Wilde:
LE PREMIER NAZAREEN. Ce n'est pas de Cesar que le prophete a parle,
HERODE. Pas de Cesar?
LE PREMIER NAZAREEN. Non, Seigneur.
HERODE. De qui donc a-t-il parle?
LE PREMIER NAZAREEN. Du Messie qui est venu.
UN JUIF. Le Messie n'est pas venu.
LE PREMIER NAZAREEN. Il est venu, et il fait des miracles partout.
HERODIAS. Oh! Oh! les miracles. Je ne crois pas aux miracles.
J'en ai vu trop. [Au page.] Mon eventail.
|The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Taras Bulba and Other Tales by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
a greenish hue; wet daws and crows; monotonous rain; a tearful sky,
without one gleam of light! . . . It is gloomy in this world,
THE MYSTERIOUS PORTRAIT
Nowhere did so many people pause as before the little picture-shop in
the Shtchukinui Dvor. This little shop contained, indeed, the most
varied collection of curiosities. The pictures were chiefly
oil-paintings covered with dark varnish, in frames of dingy yellow.
Winter scenes with white trees; very red sunsets, like raging
conflagrations, a Flemish boor, more like a turkey-cock in cuffs than
Taras Bulba and Other Tales